Computational Linguistics

"Alexa!" "Siri!" "Hey, Google!" If you've ever asked your smartphone for directions, messaged with a chatbot, or typed a random question into a search box, you already know the power of computational linguistics. Now, you can study how this technology works—and find ways to make it even better—in a rapidly growing field that brings together language and technology.

What will I learn?

As a computational linguistics student, you'll typically take courses from two departments (linguistics and computer science and engineering). For example, you may study how language relates to race and gender in one class, how to structure data for computational processing in another, and how to analyze linguistic data in another. With every semester, you'll gain a greater understanding of how computers process human language and how you can use this technology to solve real-world problems.

What can I do outside of class?

Want to have fun, get experience and impress future employers? Here you go.

  • Research. Even as an undergraduate, you can work with faculty and participate in research.
  • Study abroad. Traveling gives you an inside look at different cultures and languages.
  • Internships. From helping students in a local school to working in a nationally renowned research lab (or both!), you'll have choices here.
  • Student clubs. Make friends and have fun in clubs and organizations that match your interests.
Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a computational linguistics degree?

Employers are looking for people who can help them advance the capabilities of computational systems to process spoken language, build chatbots to carry on more productive conversations, and ensure that natural language processing software is inclusive of different languages and dialects. (Side note: Our grad students placed third worldwide in the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge!) As a computational linguistics major, be prepared to find your skills in high demand with companies, government agencies, research institutes, universities and other leading organizations. 

In a field that's advancing so quickly, you'll find plenty of new and exciting opportunities, including some that may not even exist today. Possible careers include:

  • Analytical linguist.
  • Artificial intelligence scientist.
  • Chatbot designer.
  • Computational linguist.
  • Grammar developer.
  • Natural language processing engineer.
  • Research engineer.

Who will I learn from?

Active researchers. Dedicated teachers. Exceptional mentors. These are the people you will learn from as a computational linguistics major.

Our faculty have earned Humboldt Research Fellowships, National Science Foundation grants and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, among (many) other honors. They have received research funding from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and other industry leaders. 

Because this program brings together faculty from multiple departments, you'll find linguistics experts who specialize in syntax, semantics, typology and other relevant disciplines—as well as computer science faculty who focus on algorithms, human-computer interaction, machine learning and more. In addition, both departments have faculty with advanced expertise in computational linguistics.